Ezekiel 20

Ezekiel 20

 
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1 On August 14,* during the seventh year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, some of the leaders of Israel came to request a message from the LORD. They sat down in front of me to wait for his reply.1

2 Then this message came to me from the LORD:

3 "Son of man, give the leaders of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: How dare you come to ask for my help? As surely as I live, I will tell you nothing. This is the word of the Sovereign LORD!

4 "Son of man, bring judgment against them and condemn them. Make them realize how loathsome the actions of their ancestors really were.

5 Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: When I chose Israel and revealed myself to her in Egypt, I swore that I, the LORD, would be her God.

6 I promised that I would bring her and her descendants out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them--a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere.

7 Then I said to them, `Each of you, get rid of your idols. Do not defile yourselves with the Egyptian gods, for I am the LORD your God.'

8 "But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of their idols or forsake the gods of Egypt. Then I threatened to pour out my fury on them to satisfy my anger while they were still in Egypt.

9 But I didn't do it, for I acted to protect the honor of my name. That way the surrounding nations wouldn't be able to laugh at Israel's God, who had promised to deliver his people.

10 So I brought my people out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness.

11 There I gave them my laws so they could live by keeping them. Yes, all those who keep them will live!

12 And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I, the LORD, had set them apart to be holy, making them my special people.

13 "But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my laws there in the wilderness. They wouldn't obey my instructions even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the desert.

14 But again I held back in order to protect the honor of my name. That way the nations who saw me lead my people out of Egypt wouldn't be able to claim I destroyed them because I couldn't take care of them.

15 But I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful place on earth.

16 I told them this because they had rejected my laws, ignored my will for them, and violated my Sabbath days. Their hearts were given to their idols.

17 Nevertheless, I pitied them and held back from destroying them in the wilderness.

18 "Then I warned their children and told them not to follow in their parents' footsteps, defiling themselves with their idols.

19 `I am the LORD your God,' I told them. `Follow my laws, pay attention to my instructions,

20 and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the LORD your God.'

21 "But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my laws and follow my instructions, even though obeying them would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness.

22 Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name among the nations who had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt.

23 But I took a solemn oath against them while they were in the wilderness. I vowed I would scatter them among all the nations

24 because they did not obey my laws. They scorned my instructions by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors.

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Notes:

1: Hebrew In the fifth month, on the tenth day, of the Hebrew calendar. This event occurred on August 14, 591 B.C.; also see note on 1:1.


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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